Many of you will remember the visit made by six Belarus children and their interpreter, Hannah on July 9th this year, Their bravery and spirit in the face of severe illness and disability brought about by the Chernobyl disaster in nearby Ukraine in 1988 so inspired the choir that they were moved to raise £150 between themselves for the Victims of Chernobyl Children’s Fund. Who can forget the wonderfully moving performance of 12 year old Marya playing Ave Maria for us on her flute.
The prime instigator of this charity is a remarkable, local lady, Marcia Doyle who, together with her family came to practice last night to receive the donation on behalf of the charity. Marcia, movingly described how four of the young visitors are suffering from severe heart defects which cannot be treated in Belarus, and as a result their future, together with many hundreds of other children in that stricken region, many of whom are orphans, is very bleak. Marcia also related that interpreter Hannah visited this country as an 8 year old, and during her visit her mother died as a result of the nuclear tragedy. As a result of her visit Hannah was inspired to learn English and is now a teacher in Belarus despite her own illness.
We were delighted that Marcia took the time in her busy schedule to visit us, especially as she and her team of supporters will rise very early tomorrow morning to take a convoy of three lorries, laden with essential supplies of clothing, medicines and toiletries donated by the local community, on a three nights, four day journey to Belarus. The team will spend three weeks in Belarus, renewing friendships and giving much needed support to the children. This is a remarkable achievement which has been a regular journey by the charity for the past 24 years. The charity also arranges annual visits to bring children from Belarus to this area for much need respite.
The choir has recently completed a sponsored Bike Ride along the Taff Trail to raise funds for its own charity work and as a result of the childrens’ visit it has pledged that funds raised from a similar event to be organised during our 50th Anniversary Year in 2013 will be donated to this very worthwhile charity.